A top Chinese general Thursday strongly defended Beijing’s territorial claims over disputed islands in the South and East China Seas and charged that the U.S. rebalance of forces to the Pacific was encouraging unrest in the region. Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, said “the rebalancing strategy of the U.S. has stirred up some of the problems which make the South China Sea and the East China Sea not so calm as before” … Dempsey dismissed Fang’s objections to the so-called “Pacific pivot” and said the U.S. was committed to the policy. “We’ll go because we can and should, and we’ll go because we have to,” Dempsey said of the rebalance. Dempsey also told Fang “We will respond to threats.” However, Dempsey mostly stuck to his long-held position that the U.S. must build better military-to-military relations with China to avoid miscalculations that could lead to conflict in the region.
Read more: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/05/15/dempsey-clashes-with-chinese-general-on-pacific.html

The United States is halting all military engagement with Russia due to the crisis in Ukraine — including military exercises, meetings and port visits, the Pentagon said Monday. “Although the Department of Defense finds value in the military-to-military relationship with the Russian Federation we have developed over the past few years to increase transparency, build understanding, and reduce the risk of military miscalculation we have, in light of recent events in Ukraine, put on hold all military-to-military engagements between the United States and Russia. This includes exercises, bilateral meetings, port visits and planning conferences,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.
Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/#/storyline/ukraine-crisis/u-s-suspends-military-relations-russia-n43631

    In both cases above, the main goal of the military-to-military relationship between the nuclear superpower countries is defined as to “reduce the risk of military miscalculation “. In other words, putting “on hold all military-to-military engagements between the United States and Russia”, rather than falling under “sanctions”, appears to be more like a blindly taken step towards a nuclear Armageddon:

Data Source: Federation of American Scientistshttp://www.fas.org

Source: Federation of American Scientistshttp://www.fas.org

Source: Federation of American Scientistshttp://www.fas.org

Data Source: Federation of American Scientistshttp://www.fas.org

Source: Federation of American Scientistshttp://www.fas.org

Obama warns Russia in tense call with Putin … President Barack Obama told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a tense phone call on Monday that Moscow would face further costs for its actions in Ukraine and should use its influence to get separatists in the country to stand down. Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/15/us-ukraine-crisis-obama-idUSBREA3D1DH20140415

“Putin will not talk to Obama under pressure,” said Igor Yurgens, Chairman of the Institute for Contemporary Development, a prominent Moscow think tank, and a close associate of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “It does not mean forever” …  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is also getting the cold shoulder from his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu. Pentagon officials have reached out to Russia on Mr. Hagel’s behalf within the past 24 hours but have not gotten any response, according to Pentagon Spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren…
Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/25/exclusive-putin-halts-all-talks-with-white-house.html

See also:

  • As The War Drums Are Getting Louder The Risk of Nuclear Conflict is Growing.  …  Stephen Cohen told a CNN-TV audience March 9, “I think were two steps from a Cuban Missile Crisis and three steps from war with Russia for the first time.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis During the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores… Soviets had long felt uneasy about the number of nuclear weapons that were targeted at them from sites in Western Europe and Turkey, and they saw the deployment of missiles in Cuba as a way to level the playing field. Despite the enormous tension, Soviet and American leaders found a way out of the impasse. During the crisis, the Americans and Soviets had exchanged letters and other communications, and on October 26, Khrushchev sent a message to Kennedy in which he offered to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for a promise by U.S. leaders not to invade Cuba. The following day, the Soviet leader sent a letter proposing that the USSR would dismantle its missiles in Cuba if the Americans removed their missile installations in Turkey. Officially, the Kennedy administration decided to accept the terms of the first message and ignore the second Khrushchev letter entirely. Privately, however, American officials also agreed to withdraw their nation’s missiles from Turkey. U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy (1925-68) personally delivered the message to the Soviet ambassador in Washington, and on October 28, the crisis drew to a close. Both the Americans and Soviets were sobered by the Cuban Missile Crisis. The following year, a direct “hot line” communication link was installed between Washington and Moscow to help defuse similar situations, and the superpowers signed two treaties related to nuclear weapons.
  • Kennedy – Khrushchev Exchanges During the “13 Days”